Apart from its actual location, and the fact that it remains part of the CTP/Caxton group, there’s no discernible connection between the Plasticwrap that Gary Seale ‘inherited’ when brought in to manage and revitalise the operation and CTP flexibles as it is today. Not the quality of the work, not the efficiency of the plant, not the can-do attitude of the team, not the sophistication of its printing and converting facilities, not the spiralling sales graphs – absolutely nothing now is as it was then!
Yes, CTP flexibles is alive and well and bucking the trend. While many flexible packaging converters are cataloguing their woes, this business is soaring.
‘We’re now operating 24/7,’ reports a smiling MD, Gary Seale. ‘We’ve completed the remodelling and we’re enjoying record sales. This proves that our strategy is working.’
This strategy, as previously reported, has been to alter the focus of the business to the top end of the flexible market, especially targeting blue-chip customers in the snack food and confectionery sectors.
‘In practice, instead of handling literally hundreds of customers, the number has shrunk to approximately one quarter of our original customer base, yet with an exponential surge in turnover,’ Gary explains. ‘But these are all top-grade customers; these are the big brand names, and they’re hugely satisfied with the first-class flexible packaging we’re producing.’
Visiting this world-class facility, the reason is clear. Since a substantial facelift two years ago, when a major chunk of cash went to the purchase of a Fischer & Krecke FP-16-S eight-colour flexo press, business has rocketed. ‘The press is performing to the highest levels of cost-effectiveness and profitability,’ Gary confirms, ‘and our customers have been amazed at the enormous strides in the quality of our output.’
New slitting hall established
But investment hasn’t stopped at buying a superlative press; it has extended to the ongoing commissioning of a wide array of high-tech converting equipment, including a whole battery of Titan slitters to match the output of the press.
Facing ever-growing demand, and with the F&K press churning out faultless material, slitting capacity was under increasing pressure. To alleviate the botteneck, no fewer than five more Titan ER610 slitter rewinders have now been installed, bringing the total number of slitters to ten.
At the same time, redevelopment of Caxton/CTP’s facilities at its Ndabeni complex resulted in extra space becoming available for CTP flexibles, of which around 5 000m2 has been used to construct a brand-new slitting hall where the ten slitters are now sited. It’s a truly impressive sight.
‘With these new slitters we now have capacity to cope with current demand and future expansion,’ Gary comments happily. ‘This latest investment has put the final click into place to give us total confidence in what we can offer our discerning customers in terms of quality product and quality service.’
Titan slitters a worldwide hit
Indeed, CTP flexibles keeps good company. The Titan ER610 compact slitter rewinder has been a great success for Atlas Converting with sales of more than 100 machines worldwide.
Available in two web widths – 1 350 and 1 650mm – with a maximum rewind diameter of 610mm, they feature touchscreen control and integral edge-trim extraction. The pneumatically-controlled braking system provides accurate web tension control and a digital edge-guide system controls lateral movement of the unwind reel to +/- 50mm.
Slitting systems include shear knives, rotary razor (burst) or razor slitting in air or groove. Optional features include an anti-static control system, laser (line) core positioning and a new option for shaftless unwind roll pick-up from floor. This option is included in the technical configuration of the five new Titan ER 610 slitters at CTP flexibles and was also retro-fitted to existing models.
The Titan ER610 slitter can process a wide range of flexible materials including plain, printed, coated or metallised film from 20 to 200µm, a wide range of laminates, and paper from 30 to 200g/m2 at speeds up to 450m/min. The minimum slit width can be as narrow as 25mm.
It’s interesting to record that all CTP flexibles’ recent capex has been channelled through Beswick Machinery – as local agent for the Bobst group/Fisher & Krecke and Atlas/Titan. That’s a great endorsement for the Beswick team.